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No Longer Qualified? Changes in the Supply and Demand for Skills within Occupations
Using a novel database of 159 million online job postings, we examine changes in employer skill requirements for education and specific skillsets between 2007 and 2017. We find that upskilling—in terms of increasing demands for bachelor’s degrees as well as software skills—was a persistent trend among high-skill occupations, but either a temporary or non-existent phenomenon among middle-skill and low-skill occupations. We also find evidence that persistentupskilling in the high-skill sector contributed to greater occupational mismatch that remained elevated during the recovery from the ...
Retaining recent college graduates in New England: an update on current trends
This policy brief presents some basic facts about the retention of recent college graduates and changes in retention over time. It considers how New England compares with other divisions, what factors affect its ability to retain graduates, and the reasons why recent college graduates choose to leave New England. It also highlights a Boston-area initiative to promote internships as a retention tool.
Downskilling: changes in employer skill requirements over the business cycle
Using a novel database of 82.5 million online job postings, we show that employer skill requirements fell as the labor market improved from 2010 to 2014. We find that a 1 percentage point reduction in the local unemployment rate is associated with a roughly 0.27 percentage point reduction in the fraction of jobs requiring at least a bachelor?s degree and a roughly 0.23 percentage point reduction in the fraction requiring five or more years of experience. This pattern is established using multiple measures of labor availability, is bolstered by similar trends along heretofore unmeasured ...
Upskilling: do employers demand greater skill when skilled workers are plentiful?
The Great Recession and subsequent recovery have been particularly painful for low-skilled workers. From 2007 to 2012, the unemployment rate rose by 6.4 percentage points for noncollege workers while it rose by only 2.3 percentage points for the college educated. This differential impact was evident within occupations as well. One explanation for the differential impact may be the ability of highly skilled workers to take middle- and low-skilled jobs. Indeed, over this period the share of workers with a college degree in traditionally middle-skill occupations increased rapidly. Such growth in ...
Are American homeowners locked into their houses?: the impact of housing market conditions on state-to-state migration
U.S. policymakers are concerned that negative home equity arising from the severe housing market decline may be constraining geographic mobility and consequently serving as a factor in the nation's persistently high unemployment rate. Indeed, the widespread drop in house prices since 2007 has increased the share of homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages. At the same time, migration across states and among homeowners has fallen sharply. Using a logistic regression framework to analyze data from the Internal Revenue Service on state-to-state migration between 2006 and 2009, the ...
The middle-skills gap: ensuring an adequate supply of skilled labor in northern and southern New England
Recent evidence suggests that a mismatch between the skills demanded by employers and the skills supplied by the population may be underway, particularly for ?middle-skill? workers who possess some college education or an associate?s degree. This policy brief examines the middle-skill mismatch in New England, comparing recent labor market trends and future projections for the northern versus southern subregions. The analysis finds that the nature of the mismatch varies within the region, indicating that policymakers should tailor their potential responses as opposed to taking a uniform ...
Uncertain futures: are American youth increasingly idle?: think again
Continued high unemployment and low labor force participation among U.S. youth have led many observers to question what the future path of employment will look like for younger workers. Of particular concern is the share of the youth population that is idle, or what is technically termed ?not in employment, education, or training? (NEET). These individuals are particularly vulnerable to continued adverse labor market outcomes and their prolonged detachment from the labor market may result in significant individual and social costs. This policy brief details trends in youth labor market ...
Mismatch in the labor market: measuring the supply of and demand for skilled labor in New England
Over the past decade, policymakers and business leaders across New England have been concerned that the region?s slower population growth and loss of residents to other parts of the U.S. will lead to a shortage of skilled labor?particularly when the baby boom generation retires. Even with the current economic downturn, there is a recognized need to ensure that there is a sufficient pipeline of skilled workers to fill their region?s high-growth, high-demand jobs when the economy recovers. This means not only having a sufficient number of skilled workers, but also a workforce with the right mix ...
The impact of managed care on the gender earnings gap among physicians
Important differences in labor market characteristics suggest that men and women physicians may be viewed as imperfect substitutes in the labor market. Concerns about efficiency and cost-cutting, which have led to the adoption of managed care practices, may have (unintentionally) favored female physicians. Using data from the Young Physicians Survey, the author compares changes in the gender earnings gap for physicians in states with high versus low managed care growth during the 1980s. She finds that the gender gap in hourly earnings among physicians in states with high managed care growth ...
Uncertain futures?: youth attachment to the labor market in the United States and New England
In the wake of the Great Recession, high levels of unemployment and low labor force participation rates among U. S. youth are of great concern, receiving considerable attention from policy makers and the popular press. These trends have led observers to question what the future path of employment will look like for younger workers. Of particular concern is the share of the youth population that is idle, or what is technically termed ?not in employment, education, or training? (NEET). These individuals are particularly vulnerable to continued adverse labor market outcomes and their prolonged ...